Blog Entry

Barry Larkin elected into Hall of Fame

Posted on: January 9, 2012 2:59 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2012 12:16 pm

By Matt Snyder

Barry Larkin will join Ron Santo in the 2012 Baseball Hall of Fame induction class. The announcement was made by the Baseball Writers Association of America on Monday afternoon.

Larkin was the only man from the 27-player ballot who received the necessary 75 percent of the vote. Larkin got 86.4 percent of the vote (495 of 573). Votes can be cast by writers who have been members of the BBWAA for at least 10 years.

Complete breakdown of the 2012 Hall of Fame voting

Larkin, 47, played his entire 19-season career for the Cincinnati Reds. The 12-time All-Star shortstop hit .295 with an .815 OPS in his career. He added 1,329 runs, 2,340 hits, 441 doubles, 198 home runs and 379 stolen bases. Larkin won the 1995 NL MVP while also adding nine Silver Sluggers, three Gold Gloves and was the starting shortstop for the 1990 World Series champion Reds.

Hall of Fame coverage
Looking at Wins Above Replacement by, Larkin trails only the following shortstops (counting years as a shorstop only): Honus Wagner, George Davis, Cal Ripken, Arky Vaughan, Bill Dahlen, Derek Jeter and Luke Appling. All but Dahlen and Jeter are in the Hall of Fame and Jeter is headed to Cooperstown five years after his retirement. Also, in Bill James' Historical Baseball Abstract, which was updated in 1999, James ranked Larkin as the sixth best shortstop of all-time.

Larkin also netted two off-field accolades, as he won the 1993 Roberto Clemente Award (given to a player that "best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team") and the 1994 Lou Gehrig Award (given to a player that exhibits character and integrity both on and off the field).

"I never really thought about it as a player," Larkin told insider Jon Heyman Sunday. "I never thought about it until I saw some support was there. I had thought it was unattainable. My whole approach was, 'How I can better the team?' I remember guys telling me early, 'You're never going to make money hitting behind runners.' They really wanted me to be selfish. I think what they were saying is that I should turn on the ball. It's definitely something I could appreciate later. But the years I had success were the years I had great players around me."

This time around marked Larkin's third chance on the ballot. He received 51.6 percent of the vote in 2010 and 62.1 percent last year, so the trajectory -- in addition to a pretty weak first-year class -- made Larkin's induction this year likely. Still, it wasn't a sure thing by any stretch. The jump all the way to 86 percent was surprisingly large.

"The Cincinnati Reds organization and our entire city are thrilled with Barry's election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame," Reds president Bob Castellini said in a statement. "His extraordinary talent has earned him a permanent place in Cooperstown alongside Reds greats Sparky Anderson, Johnny Bench, Warren Giles, Ernie Lombardi, Bill McKechnie, Bid McPhee, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Eppa Rixey and Edd Roush. Throughout his entire life both on and off the field, Barry has represented himself and our city with the class and professionalism consistent with the ideals of the Reds, Major League Baseball and the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. He continues to be one of our game's greatest ambassadors. We are very proud that his accomplishments have been validated at the highest level by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. We look forward to the induction ceremonies in July."

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Since: Jan 9, 2012
Posted on: January 9, 2012 7:24 pm

Barry Larkin elected into Hall of Fame

Morris was far from mediocre, tripleight.  As a life-long Tigers' fan, I was fortunate to watch Jack Morris pitch for us for a dozen years.  His forkball was one of the best ever; which led to his over abundance of wild pitches - mainly because Lance Parrish was lazy and always tried to backhand the ball in the dirt instead of blocking it.  He had guts and grit and was a true gamer; which is why he didn't get along with sportswriters.  In the World Series, he had a 2.96 ERA, a 4-2 record and had 40 K's.  In the '84 Series, he had two complete games.  Jack Morris was a true ace on what could be considered mediocre Tigers' teams - even the '84 team was not star-filled by any stretch of the imagination; yet he had 19 wins that year; including a no-hitter against the White Sox.  You mention Dennis Martinez and Jamie Moyer - those two couldn't hold Jack Morris' jock strap.  Like I said earlier, his somewhat inflated ERA is misleading - Tiger Stadium had the short-porch in right, and Toronto & Minnesota were turf fields and bandboxes to pitch in...yet he still had 18 wins in Minnesota and 21 wins in the Skydome.  When there was a big game in the 80's, the one pitcher everyone wanted on the mound was Jack Morris.  Had he pitched his career for the Yankees, Boston, or LA; Morris would already have a plaque hanging in Cooperstown. 

Since: Jan 9, 2012
Posted on: January 9, 2012 7:19 pm
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Since: Nov 30, 2006
Posted on: January 9, 2012 6:52 pm

Barry Larkin elected into Hall of Fame

Finally! Barry Larkin will always be my favorite athlete of ANY sport.

Since: May 15, 2010
Posted on: January 9, 2012 6:34 pm

Barry Larkin elected into Hall of Fame

Happy for Larkin -- very deserving. Of course, so is Alan Trammell.

As for Jack Morris, of course he belongs in the Hall. He was as big game a pitcher as anyone in his era. And if you want to find a comparable pitcher who is in the Hall, compare him to someone like Catfish Hunter, who had a better ERA than Morris because he pitched in a more pitcher-friendly era and spent a lot of his career in a pitcher-friendly ballpark in Oakland. I saw them both and Hunter was not better than Jack Morris. If Catfish Hunter is a Hall of Famer, Jack Morris assuredly is.


Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: January 9, 2012 6:33 pm

Barry Larkin elected into Hall of Fame

First, congratulations to Barry Larkin, a true ambassador for the game and a great SS
Regarding jack Morris -
He was a strong pitcher in a down era for pitching - the '80s. the 80s were a period of promise not delivered for the most part.  Roger Clemens was a better pitcher.  doc Gooden started out strong.  Dave Stieb was better.  Blyleven had three strong years in the decade, but overall is was not a great decade for pitching - especially compared to the 70s.

Morris was a battler.  He had good endurance, but rarely delivered the shutout - only 28 for his career. - a very low total when talking about the HOF. (only Waite Hoyt - 26 had fewer) His 254 wins and 2400+ Ks are positive indicators for the HOF. 

However, his career ERA+ of only 105 is extremely low for the HOF (only rube marquard at 103 is lower), and his career WAR of under 40 is very low.  since 1940, only catfish Hunter has had a career WAR that low.

These indicators - the shutouts, the career ERA+, and the WAR are strong inications that this is NOT a HOF pitcher.  If inducted, Jack Morris would join a handful of other pitchers among the lowest rung of HOF pitchers.

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: January 9, 2012 6:30 pm

Barry Larkin elected into Hall of Fame

To me, there was never any doubt former Reds SS Barry Larkin belonged in the baseball hall of fame. I know he wasn't Ozzie Smith or Cal Ripken jr., but he was a very good ball player who could hit for power and average, run and fielded his position well.
In my opinion I felt that Larkin was a better player then Ozzie, Larkin was a better hitter but Ozzie was a little better on defense. So I knew that Larkin would get into the hall, I never figure that he be the only player that be voted in today.

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: January 9, 2012 6:10 pm

Barry Larkin elected into Hall of Fame

Jack Morris does NOT DESERVE to be in the Hall of Fame. The guy was a mediocre pitcher who had one big WS game, a nice mustache, and better run support than just about everybody in the 1980s and early 90s. I mean SERIOUSLY? Morris had a 3.90 ERA - which is mediocre at best. He was never the best pitcher in either league at any time and was never even among the top 5 pitchers in either league at any time in his entire career. That's not dominant or even close to it. He was never in the discussion as a top pitcher when he played.
Obviously, you never saw Jack Morris pitch.  For the decade of the 1980s, the only pitchers who were better than Morris throughout the decade were Nolan Ryan, Dave Stieb, and maybe Fernando Valenzuela (although he tailed off a bit at the end of the 80s).  Steve Carlton was better in the 1st half of the 80s but tailed off quickly in the back half and Tom Seaver's career was all but over by the mid 80s.

To say he was never among the top five pitchers in either league is complete BS.  Morris was the big game pitcher of for an entire decade and then some.  He was in the top ten in wins in the AL every season from 1979-87 and 1990-92.  He also spent the decade in the top ten in innings pitched nearly every season.  The fact is that when Jack Morris took the mound he averaged seven innings plus every time he took the ball.  He was the last of his kind in that respect -- nobody does that anymore.

Whenever anyone knocks his 3.90 ERA, it tells me they never watched the guy throw and don't understand the role he played in Detroit throughout his career.  Jack Morris finished one out of every three games he started.  Out of all starters who threw after the mound was lowered in '68, the only pitchers who completed a greater percentage of their starts are ALL Hall of Fame pitchers -- Seaver, Blyleven, Carlton, Niekro, Jenkins, and Perry.  When you get mentioned in that select of a group, you are worthy.

Don't tell me you watched Jack Morris and don't remember him being among the best of his generation.

Since: May 22, 2007
Posted on: January 9, 2012 5:45 pm

Barry Larkin elected into Hall of Fame

To me, there was never any doubt former Reds SS Barry Larkin belonged in the baseball hall of fame. I know he wasn't Ozzie Smith or Cal Ripken jr., but he was a very good ball player who could hit for power and average, run and fielded his position well. He is certainly deserving...I also think form Cubs 3rd baseman Ron Santo is worthy as well.

Really, there wasn't anyone else worth considering except for Jack Morris. I'm not a big fan of him, but he certainly has the 3 rings and was the ace of three pitching staffs...Blue Jays, Twins and Tigers.

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: January 9, 2012 5:34 pm

Barry Larkin elected into Hall of Fame

Congrats Barry.  Good to see that some things are as they should be.

Since: Apr 12, 2007
Posted on: January 9, 2012 5:33 pm

Barry Larkin elected into Hall of Fame

One of the last great PURE players that did it the right way:  with integrity, love of his teammates, and for the love of the game.  Deserved to be a 1 or 2 ballot HOF'er but at least they finally got it right after three tries.)   As for the rest of you, Barry Larkin deserves this and deserves more than using this time and post to argue over and/or discuss anything other than his HOF career.  CONGRATULATIONS BARRY LARKIN!  And Congrats to the Cincinnati Reds organization for drafting and keeping such a wonderful player and teammate and baseball genius.  As well to the city of Cincinnati to have another incredible baseball player reach the pinnacle of the pro-sport that started there.  Again, Congratulations to Barry Larkin, his wife, and his families - both baseball and biological!  To one of the GREATEST OF ALL-TIME!

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